Madison Violet The Good in Goodbye

Two years after their last album, the Juno-nominated No Fool For Trying, rootsy Toronto, ON duo Madison Violet return with another solid effort. They have again recruited producer/multi-instrumentalist Les Cooper (Jill Barber) and his work is of a typically high standard. One misstep is the decision to use strings on "Home," as they rather overpower a sweet melody. A more minimal approach best suits the pristine vocal harmonies of Lisa MacIsaac and Brenley MacEachern, the signature of the MV sound. Any tendency towards sugariness is undercut by songs that lean to the sad or melancholy, as on "Stuck in a Love" or "Fallen by the Wayside," a song co-written with Ron Sexsmith that's a gentle album highlight. Another standout is "Come As You Are," a slow, brooding track featuring strong backing vocals. The most up-tempo number on the record is a lovely cover of traditional favourite "Cindy Cindy." The pair are talented songwriters, but it'd nice to hear them mix in a few such outside songs on future albums. (True North)